New Media Business Plans for Procrastinators
On Monday, March 31, 2008, New Media Manitoba presents the first of its kind Business course for new and existing businesses entitled, "New Media Business Plans for Procrastinators." This course will be delivered one evening per week for six weeks and will force you to create a business plan for your company or product.
Some of the excuses we hear for why people never develop a business plan is, "not enough time," or, "it's too much work," and, "what's the point ?" Even after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment, staff and overhead expenses, many new media professionals will never create a business plan because they feel it's too involved or they don't see the benefit. Well on March 31, you won't have a choice. You will develop your new media business plan or else.
WHY DO I NEED A BUSINESS PLAN?
Well, aside from a Cranfield University study that found 95% of businesses that create a business plan were still in business 5-years later, it's also a great way to manage your company, find money, launch a product, grow your organization, or take steps toward becoming the millionaire you always said you'd be. OR, you can just keep doing what you're doing now. How's that working out for you by the way? :)
When the dot-com bubble burst it in the 90's it was because web businesses did not take the time to create business plans and were funded by overzealous investors that didn't care. A good new media business plan ensures that you have a strategy to succeed and a backup plan if you don't. It tracks your organization's movements, has checkpoints for evaluating your progress, it is deliberate and evolves as you do. The business plan becomes your guardian angel and yet very few new media businesses ever take the first step toward developing one.
WHO'S TEACHING THIS COURSE?
There aren't many examples of good new media business plans out there and we want to change that starting with members in Manitoba. We have partnered with the finest business consultants we could find to create a new media business course for ambitious procrastinators like you.
The course will be taught by Meyers Norris Penny (MNP) based on their expertise delivering business development courses in Western Canada for over 16-years. 82% of their graduates have launched successful companies that meet or exceed their business objectives. I have personally completed MNP's business training and have run an independent new media management company for the past 5-years. Starting out, I even used my business plan to qualify for a free grant that paid for a new laptop computer and equipment!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
One of the stumbling blocks to delivering a business development course is expense. The cost of this course is normally $2,499 per person, which is what happens when you partner with one of the most reputable business firms in Western Canada. As a result we have busted our butts seeking financial support for our members to make this more affordable.
With the very generous assistance from the Province of Manitoba and Industry Canada we've reduced the expense of this training to just $995.00 per person! That is a 60% discount off the regular price!!! Since mentioning this course to members last Christmas we have already presold 25% of our available seats. We have room for just 9 more people at this discounted rate, and after that, the cost will go back to $2,495 per person.
HOW DO I SIGN UP!?!?
To be fair to all potential new media companies we are operating on a first come first serve basis. That is, the first 12-organizations to sign up online and drop off an initial deposit of $295 at our office will reserve a set to take this course. The balance of $700 plus GST will be required at class commencement on March 31, 2008. Not everyone will be accepted. We want as many of you to benefit from this training as possible, however, we may need to exercise judgment in certain instances where companies have directly competing business plans or products. If you do not qualify your deposit cheque will be returned.
I FOUND A BUSINESS PLAN COURSE SOMEWHERE ELSE FOR FREE
To put things in perspective there are many different business development courses out there but they are not specific to the new media industry. "New Media Business Plans for Procrastinators" will cover case studies relevant to sub-sectors like: Software Development, Video Game Company, Web Site Developer, and New Media Convergence (web/tv/film) firm. These case studies will be used to help develop your own business plan and target it toward your organization's new or existing needs. A detailed list of the courses can be found below in Appendix A.
WHAT DO I WALK AWAY WITH?
Rather than taking this course and walking away with good intentions to create a plan, you will start your business plan on Day One. Following each of the 6-modules, you will have work to do and a Meyers Norris Penny specialist will review and provide feedback. MNP will also be available to answer questions and offer professional advice. Following the completion of all 6-modules and assignments you will walk away with a completed business plan and development skills that you can take to the bank. The benefit of developing a plan yourself versus paying someone $5,000 to do it is that you gain a heightened understanding of the operations, financial commitments, and research to make your business a success. The business plan you develop will become the foundation for all your businesses activities during the next 3-5 years. You will also receive a Certificate of New Media Business Planning Skills upon successful completion that is recognized by the provincial Manitoba New Media industry.
HOW MUCH TIME WILL THIS TAKE?
The course begins on Monday, March 31, 2008, and runs for 6-consecutive Monday evenings from 4 pm - 7:30 pm. Candidates are asked to bring their own bagged supper but some sandwiches and beverages will be on hand. You will be expected to complete your business plan assignments in between classes. It is understood that many participants are already running their own businesses so we have attempted to make this course as accommodating as possible but please plan your work schedule accordingly. This course will only give back what you put into it and by the end you will have a completed business plan!
WHAT IF I WANT TO BRING MY BUSINESS PARTNER?
We recognize that some businesses have one or more partners that would like to work collaboratively on their company business plan. In recognition of this fact we have negotiated a half price rate for up to ONE additional partner (You $995 + Partner $495 = $1490). Due to facilitation restrictions we cannot accommodate more than two partners per company.
WHAT DO I DO FIRST?
Register online and then drop off a deposit cheque for $295 to the address below no later than March 27, 2008, where you will receive a receipt of payment. If you have any questions about the course you may contact Kevin Hnatiuk via phone at (204) 228-3252 or via email: email@example.com. I encourage you to take advantage of this amazing course offer soon and look forward to see you out!
New Media Manitoba
779 Warsaw Avenue
All courses run on Mondays from 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
1. New Media Business Strategies - March 31/08. This powerful workshop teaches the participant to think strategically, a key to long term business success. Participants learn concepts including: SWOT analysis, short and long term planning, goals, objectives, critical issues, competitive advantages, key success factors, and strategy development and implementation. During the class we work through a relevant case study as well as apply the concepts practically to develop their individual business strategies. This class is essential for new business owners, who need to understand how to set direction and achieve goals and objectives. However it is equally, if not more so, important for businesses who have reached the critical stage of growth and development. Where and how to grow are very important decisions that need to be made and implemented strategically. Participants will be asked to complete a strategy assignment around their own business venture for review and feedback by an MNP expert.
2. Business Planning for Digital Entrepreneurs - April 7/08. Designed to examine the essential components of a comprehensive business plan and provide the participant with the tools to develop a working business plan for their venture, this session provides participants with a clear and simple method of developing an operational guide for their businesses. The workshop focuses on the various purposes for planning. Participants receive a business plan template, from which they will develop their own business plan, as well as an accompanying outline that details the content of each section of a business plan. Following this session, participants will be asked to complete the first 2 sections of the business plan for review and feedback by an MNP expert.
3. An Interactive Producer's Guide to Market Research - April 14/08. Analysis of market conditions and market potential through research, is essential in demonstrating opportunity, and helps to reduce the risks associated with business launch and growth. Participants are taught how to plan, execute and analyze research using secondary sources in order to validate their assumptions. Primary research techniques are also examined in this session. Participants discuss the applications and limitations of methods including informational interviews, surveys, and focus groups. Through a practical exercise participants will look at how to define their target market and prove an opportunity exists by using research to develop successful business strategy and accurate financial forecasts. This session will also include a prearranged visit to the Canada Manitoba Business Service Centre Library, Manitoba's premiere source for research on business. This tour will be conducted by the knowledgeable staff at the Service Centre exposing participants to the numerous resources available. Following this session participants will be asked to use their research skills by completing and submitting the Industry Analysis section of their business plan for review and feedback by an MNP expert. Research assignments will also feed into their marketing, operational, and financial plans to be developed in upcoming sessions.
4. Marketing and Promotional Development for New Media Firms - April 21/08. Participants will learn how to construct the various components of a marketing plan and establish measurable outcomes from their marketing efforts. They will be given the ingredients to build an action plan that will guide in the execution of their marketing strategies, including specific activities, costs, timelines and resource commitments. The workshop also provides participants with information on a range of promotional activities, with a focus on cost-effective methods of gaining exposure, building awareness and credibility for the business. It covers the principles of business-to-business marketing, guidelines on creative development, ethical advertising practices and how to generate free publicity for their businesses. Information on government procurement strategies will also be explored. Following this session participants will be asked to submit their marketing plan for review and feedback by an MNP expert.
5. New Media Operational Planning - April 28/08. This session will discuss issues surrounding service delivery or production procedures specific to the New Media industry. Regulatory issues, staffing, and capacity as well as time and project management will also be explored. As an extension of the strategy seminar, emphasis will be placed on planned implementation and delivery in order to take a proactive rather than reactive approach to the day to day operations and future growth of the business. Participants will be asked to submit an Operational Plan that takes into consideration issues including regulatory compliance, capacity, staffing and timing issues. An MNP expert will review and provide feedback on the assignment.
6. Financial Planning for the Digital Producer - May 5/08. This session will review sample financial statements and introduce some key performance ratios used by the business owner and other interested parties to analyse the financial success of the business. Different techniques for revenue forecasting will be explored to provide credible projections that are required to make the forecasted statements a tool for internal budgeting and obtaining outside financing. Positive cashflow is essential to the success of any business. Specific emphasis will be placed on cashflow management techniques and the understanding of break even. MNP uses a comprehensive financial forecasting tool which will allow participants to develop full pro forma financial forecasts if required. At the end of this session the participants will prepare their final business plan draft including financial forecasts for review and feedback by MNP professionals